Friedman to address Class of 2009
New York Times columnist and acclaimed author Thomas Friedman will address the Class of 2009 at Commencement, on Mon., May 18, at 10 a.m. on Central Campus. The three-time Pulitzer Prize winner is the author of current bestseller Hot, Flat, and Crowded and previous number-one success The World is Flat. He joined The New York Times in 1981 as a financial reporter and later served as chief White House, chief diplomatic, and international economics correspondent.
Friedman's foreign affairs column for the Times is syndicated worldwide, and he is a frequent guest on national and international press commentary broadcasts. In 2005, Friedman was named one of America's best leaders by U.S. News & World Report for The World is Flat, which received the first Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award.
Friedman's first book, From Beirut to Jerusalem, drew on his experiences as a reporter for United Press International in the Middle East from 1977 to 1981. His publishing turned to globalization issues with The Lexus and the Olive Tree in 1999, and to the terrorism threat in 2002 with Exploring the World After September 11. Friedman also wrote Longitudes and Attitudes: The World in the Age of Terrorism and has hosted several documentaries on global issues for The Discovery Channel.
Honorary degrees will be awarded to Friedman and three Grinnell alumni:
- John F. "Fritz" Schwaller '69, president of the State University of New York at Potsdam;
- Jodie Levin-Epstein '72, deputy director of the Center for Law and Social Policy in Washington, D.C.; and
- Gregory Thielmann '72, senior fellow with the Arms Control Association, Washington, D.C.
If inclement weather, the May 18 commencement ceremony will be held in Darby Gymnasium.